Patience and BBQ

Photo 130474627 © Fotoatelie |

I love barbeque. Thankfully I live in the right place. Here in Fort Worth, Texas, barbeque joints dot street corners, as common as churches.

And I’m not talking about grilling.

Barbeque refers to an all-day cooking process resulting in smoky, juicy, fall-apart, tender goodness. Yum. 

The key to good barbeque? Long. Slow. Heat. 

The same is true for patience.

“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:4 NKJV

James tells us that patience takes some work. Let’s look at how to barbeque some patience:

1. Long: Long-spirited. Long-minded. Long-tempered. Long-suffering. These qualities require a different mindset. It’s a willingness to go the distance in giving grace to another. Burgers grill in minutes. Brisket takes hours. Likewise, marriage, parenting, friendships, skill mastery, all require time and lots of it. Prepare your mind and your will to go long.

“Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.” James 5:10 

Old Testament prophets spent years in patient, prophetic ministry to rebellious people. They focused on God and kept at their calling. 

2. Slow: Slow to anger. Slow to give up. Slow to take offense. It’s a willingness to hold off one’s own response and to wait for positive change. 

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” James 1:19

For many, COVID has slowed life down. My traveling husband has been working from home since March. Yet his slowdown has brought new challenges as we both work from home. I’m used to a quiet house. He’s on the phone. All day. For patience, slow your response time.

3. Heat: No one relishes a slab of raw ribs or a big hunk of raw brisket. But add some heat to break down the muscle tissue and give flavor, and you have heaven in the making. Likewise, we need some heat to break down our toughness into Jesus-like tenderness. The pandemic alone has turned on the heat. Masks. Online everything. Isolation. Togetherness. Financial hardships. We’re all feeling the heat, and not everyone is getting tender. 

“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” 2 Corinthians 2:15

There’s a big difference between burnt steak and fork-tender brisket. Do our responses to one another (social media?) spread the aroma of Christ or the sharp, bitter smell of charred meat? 

Take a deep breath and savor the sweet scent of your patience cooking. Those who encounter your patient and loving spirit will smell your smoky aroma and know you’ve been in the presence of our holy and infinitely patient God. 


1. Cook or pick up some barbeque this week. Study the cooking process. What happens if you use high heat? Or cut the cooking time in half? Can you shortcut the barbeque process?

2. Barbeque uses a hard wood that burns slowly. Different woods impart different flavors to the meat. What flavor is your patience?

3. Talk about slow. Give examples where slow is a good thing (molasses). How can you slow your responses to have more self-control, and therefore, more patience?

4. Talk about the heat in your life. What would tender look like in that situation?


  1. Marie Sontag on October 10, 2020 at 6:53 am

    As always, great “food for thought,” Gayle!

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